Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) on Thursday praised former Defense Secretary Jim Mattis’s scathing rebuke of President Trump as “true and honest and necessary” and admitted she is “struggling” with whether to vote for the president.
“I thought General Mattis’s words were true and honest and necessary and overdue,” Murkowski, the chair of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, said on her way to a vote in the Capitol Thursday.
“When I saw Gen. Mattis’s comments yesterday I felt like perhaps we’re getting to the point where we can be more honest with the concerns we might hold internally and have the courage of our convictions and speak up,” she told The Washington Post’s Paul Kane, who pooled the remarks and sent them to other Senate reporters.
Asked if she could vote for Trump in the 2020 election, Murkowski admitted, “I am struggling with it. I have struggled with it for a long time.”
She noted that Trump is “our duly elected president” and said “I will continue to work with him” and “I will continue to work with this administration.”
But she said she doesn’t know how to fully respond to Trump’s controversial handling of social justice protests that have swept the country, in particular his order to clear a crowd of peaceful protesters in front of the White House and his threat to deploy thousands of active-duty troops to restore order.
“I think right now as we are all struggling to find ways to express the words that need to be expressed appropriately, questions about who I’m going to vote for [or] not going to vote for I think are distracting at the moment,” she said.
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